Concern over Chatham Docks recycling plant plan
Residents are opposing plans to widen the scope of a recycling plant a few hundred yards from their homes.
The Nordic paper recycling plant in Chatham Docks, Gillingham, has been taken over by a firm called Street Fuel Limited.
Its bosses want permission to take in materials including wood shavings, building rubble, asbestos, contaminated soil, metals and minerals.
But residents of nearby St Mary’s Island fear that will lead to nuisance noise and smells.
Last year dozens of them launched legal action against a separate firm which left a stinking pile of wood shavings smouldering outside at the docks.
The pile of wood chippings which caused a stink in 2012
Although the firms are not connected, residents fear a similar nuisance could happen again.
David Taylor, chairman of the St Mary’s Island residents’ association, said: “There are a lot of residents who are very concerned about the effect that this application, if it’s permitted, will have.”
The site is a stone’s throw from the proposed Chatham Waters development, which will be built on former industrial land and include 950 homes and 475 student apartments.
Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless has raised objections over the site, saying “heavy processing” and “potentially hazardous materials” were not appropriate for somewhere near a residential area.
River ward councillor Andrew Mackness (Con) added: “It’s a huge concern. I think history has shown that control of any recycling plant or operation has to be very tightly managed.”
Street Fuel, registered in London, originally applied for a far wider range of activities but railed back after talks with the Environment Agency.
A spokesman for the firm said: “There won’t be any wood coming on the site that will cause odour or dust or anything of that nature.
“The company won’t be accepting any food waste at the site and they will be investing in new equipment for processing what they do bring in, which will create new jobs.
“We have had to work hard on the odour management plan to get that in line with EA guidance.”
The Environment Agency is taking comments on the application until Sunday (September 1) by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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